2017-07-21

Hot and Humid & Lots of Bearding

I am unsure whether this weather is good or bad for the bees.

On the one hand, the rate honey production is high and a lot of population is being added to the new hives.

On the other hand, there is a lot of bearding going on.  The bees are not clustering on the outside of the hive like I have seen in other photos where they clump up.  They are spread out in an even layer stretching any where from a couple of inches above the entrance to all the way up onto the second brood deep in some cases.

They are not overly aggressive either. I am able to manipulate the hive using only smoke as protection.  The temp has been in the 90s with a heat index above 100dF.

I have decided that I want to start self-sustaining.  This means that I want to start establishing nucs for a couple of different purposes:

  1. Breed my own queens for replacement/loss
  2. Ability to replace hives that did not overwinter or have for some other reason died off.
  3. Ability to boost weak hives
I found a site that shows how to build nucs and I like the simple design. I link it here so I can get back to it easily.

I also found a site that does a pretty good job of describing how to do what I want to do.  The apiary is located in a norther climate like mine and the advice is solid, based on doing what it takes to let the bees do their work and supporting that, and otherwise staying out of the way.  

I am in my second year of beekeeping and I have made some mistakes and had some tough luck along with those mistakes.  I learned from them.  I am sure I will make more mistakes as I transition my thinking to this new method of beekeeping.  But I now have some clear goals:

  1. Production is important.  I want the bees to pay for themselves at some point.
  2. I want to breed my own queens for my own use.  If I have more, I will sell them.
  3. I want to reach an apiary size of 20 hives, as I believe this size will be manageable and self-sustaining from a financial perspective. (I assume 100lbs of honey/hive)
So the name of the site I really like is The Outyard. I still have some reading to do. My intent is to make step-by-step, time sensitive, processes out of what is written there. Perhaps I will use MIT's Exhibit to do this.  ( Simile Exhibit ) I need a visual to put together a process, and exhibit allow for that with the timeline extension.  It also allows one to lay out step by step using the same data-set. So it saves a lot of time by only requiring a single data-set for multiple ways of viewing things. Very handy.